News: Civilian casualties as conflict in northern Ethiopia intensifies; Fed. government denies targeting civilians in Mekelle airstrike

A renewed air strike in Mekelle killed and injured several civilians

By Addis Standard Staff 

Addis Abeba, October 29/2021 – Another airstrike on targets in Tigray’s capital Mekelle claimed the lives of 10 civilians. Reuters quoted a doctor at Mekelle’s Ayder Referral Hospital as saying, “so far 10 people have died as a result of the strike and 21 were injured.” Addis Standard could not verify the information independently. 

However, The Federal Government Communication Service said, in a statement, that the airstrikes targeted Mesfin engineering, a training center that it claimed was being used by the TPLF. 

As part of its push back offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and forces loyal to it, the federal government said that it was carrying out targeted airstrikes on locations in territoires under the TPLF control in Tigray region. 

With the latest targeting Kwiha, only 2 Kilometers away from the Alula Aba Nega international airport and located about 10 Kilometers outside of Mekele. 

Legesse Tulu (PhD), the head of Government Communication Service told Addis Standard, “The target was a training center for the TPLF and arms maintenance warehouse,” adding, “We did not target any civilians.” The federal government spokesperson argued when asked about the circulating videos, “How can we know if this footage is actually in Mekelle.” 

In a related development on the worsening conflict in northern Ethiopia, the Mayor of Dessie city Abebe Gebre Meskel, told BBC Amharic that forces loyal to TPLF fired five rounds of heavy artillery onto residential areas in the city, Thursday afternoon causing death and injuries to civilians. According to the mayor, forces loyal to TPLF fired cannons at three different targets around 3:30 PM in the afternoon. 

Moreover, residents of Dessie, who spoke to BBC, said that they heard heavy gunfire and that people had been injured. According to Abebe Gebre Meskel, a total of Three civilians were injured and one was killed in areas commonly known as Ersha Sebil and Menafesha.AS

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